With Spring Break comes a perennial increase to park visitation. Facilities are beginning to reopen, hours are extending, and modified shuttle service will soon resume to best serve our visitors.
Please note that in order to protect the health of those who live, work, and visit national parks and National Park Service (NPS) facilities, face masks are now required in all park buildings and facilities, including the Visitor Center, park restrooms, shuttles, and concessioner buildings. Masks are also required on NPS-managed lands when physical distancing cannot be maintained, such as narrow or busy trails and all overlooks.
Currently the park Visitor Center and Bookstore is open every day from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Hours will be extended to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 14th and then to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 9th. Visitor Center capacity continues to be limited with short wait times during peak hours, and while the Visitor Center museum is open, the park theater remains closed. Visitors can also support the park and shop online by visiting www.brycecanyon.org.
As park roads begin to see more traffic, the Bryce Canyon Shuttle will begin service on Friday, April 2nd. Riding the shuttle bus is free but requires payment of the park’s entrance fee. Shuttles arrive every 10 to 15 minutes and will run from April 2nd through October 17th beginning at 8:00 a.m. daily. Shuttles run until the last bus leaves the park at 6:15 p.m. with extended hours to 8:10 p.m. from May 21st through September 26th. Shuttle capacity will be limited and social distancing between groups encouraged. All passengers will be required to wear a mask, and free masks will be available. Due to public health concerns, the 3-hour Rainbow Point bus tour is not scheduled to resume at this time. A reminder that vehicles over 20 feet are restricted from the Bryce Amphitheater parking areas (Sunrise, Sunset, Inspiration, and Bryce Points) during shuttle hours, so be sure to take advantage of this service to see the park’s most iconic areas. Shuttle parking is available in Bryce Canyon City, the additional parking lot across from the Visitor Center, or at your hotel or campsite in Bryce Canyon City or within the park.
Riding the shuttle is an excellent option to pair with camping in one of the park’s developed campgrounds. Loop A of North Campground remains open all winter for first-come-first-serve camping. Additional loops will open as weather permits. Sunset Campground will begin its season on April 15th with first-come-first-serve camping until May 20th, at which time reservations will be required through October 15th. Reservations can be made 6 months in advance at www.recreation.gov or by calling 877-444-6777. Sunset Campground will return to first-come-first-serve camping on October 16th until it closes for the season on October 31st.
The Lodge at Bryce Canyon, Sunset Hotel, and the General Store will reopen on Friday, March 5th. Lodging reservations can be made by visiting www.brycecanyonforever.com or by calling Forever Resorts at 877-386-4383. The historic Lodge Dining Room will also open its doors on March 5th at 11:00 a.m. and offer limited food service options for the season from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Those looking for trail snacks, groceries, a penny machine, or showers can head over to the General Store at Sunrise Point, which will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. Valhalla Pizzeria and Coffee Shop and the Lodge Gift Shop are not scheduled to reopen for the 2021 season.
Canyon Trail Rides will begin providing horse and mule rides when weather and trail conditions allow. Visit www.canyonrides.com or call 435-679-8665 for booking and more information.
The Utah Department of Transportation is scheduled to begin construction work focused on roadway improvements and safety later this month. Work in the area of the park will focus on State Route 12 (SR-12) from its junction with State Route 63 (main park road) east to Henrieville. Improvements include the construction of a traffic roundabout at the junction, lane widening, pavement rehabilitation, and other upgrades. Traffic delays of up to 15 minutes are possible at construction areas. Visit www.udot.utah.gov/sr12corridor for more information.
Ranger programs will continue to be offered as the 2021 season unfolds. Visit www.nps.gov/brca and click “Plan Your Visit”, “Things to Do”, and “Ranger Programs” for more information on program times and locations. Along with ranger programming, the park’s beloved annual festivals are also expected to resume in 2021 with modifications for public health and safety. The Astronomy Festival is currently scheduled from June 9th – June 12th, and the Geology Festival from July 9th – July 10th. The park’s summer Butterfly Count is scheduled for July 24th.
As conditions and park operations are subject to change, please visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/brca, call the park’s main information line at 435-834-5322, or follow park social media channels for details on operations before they visit. Other tips to recreate responsibly are available on NPS.gov.